USS Ronald Reagan conducts fire drill in Japan
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, currently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, completed its annual integrated fire drill in preparation for an upcoming selective restricted availability (SRA) period.
During the drill, civilian contractors and Commander, Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) Fire and Emergency Services cooperated with Ronald Reagan’s emergency response team to fight a simulated fire and evacuate Sailors and civilians.
Damage Controlman 1st Class Jose Magana, one of the drill’s facilitators from Winton, California, said: “This drill is important due to the high number of civilians we have on board throughout the SRA period. Even though we’re in port, we need to maintain our readiness by conducting regular drills, so the skills we learned underway are maintained during the in port period.”
The drill involved about 50 Sailors and 20 CNJF Fire and Emergency Service members working together to evacuate more than 100 civilian contractors.
The large number of evacuees created a unique challenge for everyone involved with the drill.
Chief Warrant Officer Rodrick Thomas, Ronald Reagan’s fire marshal, said: “It’s definitely a challenge to do something this big. No matter how much you plan, things always run differently than we expect.”
Ronald Reagan also maintains its own team of damage control specialists, the inport emergency team (IET), which acts as the initial response to shipboard casualties.
In addition to the annual integrated fire drill, Ronald Reagan Sailors conduct daily damage control drills designed to ensure a quick and effective response to any kind of shipboard emergency while in port or underway.